|NEWARK – The assets of a closed store in Wayne that allegedly failed to provide dresses to dozens of customers, and failed to provide refunds or return payments to other customers, will be sold at a court-ordered auction this Wednesday.
Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and the State Division of Consumer Affairs in June obtained court permission to change the locks and impound merchandise inside the Red Carpet Pageant and Prom store. The State requested court permission after learning that some customers, including high school students planning to attend their upcoming proms, had placed deposits but not received their dresses when the store abruptly closed.
The court-appointed receiver will conduct the upcoming auction and the proceeds from the auction will be held in an account controlled by the receiver until further order of the court.
“Our goal is to get restitution into the hands of the consumers who did not receive their merchandise or the return of the monies they paid for the dresses they never received,” Attorney General Chiesa said.
The state filed its Complaint against Red Carpet Pageant and Prom, LLC, store manager Patricia A. Dowling of Deptford, N.J. and her husband, Michael J. Dowling. The State’s Complaint was later amended to add as a defendant a related company, Prom and Pageant Place Limited Liability Company. The defendants have not responded to the Complaint and the State will seek a default judgment.
“Consumer Affairs staff has inventoried the store’s merchandise and we’ve returned identified merchandise to consumers, where possible,” said Eric T. Kanefsky, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “This week’s auction is the next step in our ongoing efforts to aid consumers who were victims of the defendants’ alleged fraud.”
The Red Carpet Pageant and Prom store is located at 1200 Route 23, Wayne, N.J., 07470. Merchandise available for bid includes dresses, dress accessories, store fixtures, furniture and equipment. Merchandise inspection begins at 10 a.m., followed by the auction at 11 a.m.
Auction details can be seen at : http://theauctioneersgroup.com/auction_detail.php?id=186156
Investigator Donna Leslie of the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection led the investigation. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Kant of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law represents the State in this action.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey ) or 973-504-6200.
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